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Rick Dangerous

Blue Lightning is a fun videogame, so why the hate?

Your Blue Lightning Opinions  

49 members have voted

  1. 1. I enjoy Blue Lightning for the Atari Jaguar CD

    • True
      35
    • False
      14
  2. 2. I would enjoy Blue Lightning just as much if it were on another contemporary system (3DO, Sega Saturn.)

    • True
      26
    • False
      23
  3. 3. I only enjoy Blue Lightning ONLY as a Jaguar CD game, because I like Jaguar games, or for other reasons related to the Jaguars library or technical capabilities.

    • True
      18
    • False
      31


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I have been playing a bunch of Blue Lightning for the High Score Club lately and a few things have come to my attention.

 

-its fun

 

-playable

 

-has a rocking soundtrack

 

So why does it constantly get so much hate? I think it's actually one of the better more playable games on the Jaguar, and actually stands up pretty well to other games of the era, such as Afterburner. Here are my thoughts:

 

Graphics: People always give it a hard time for looking like hell but is it really that bad? The cut scenes are respectable and the in-game play looks decent, though obviously not as impressive as some of the Saturn/PS1 offerings of the era. It's in standing with what the system was capable of and other 16-32 bit systems of the era were putting out. Par for the course i'd say, and certainly not ugly, with detailed environments full of buildings, land features, plant life and enemies.

 

Sounds: Sound effects are good, and the soundtrack kicks ass, with great mid-90's generic video game rock sounds wailing from your speakers!

 

Gameplay: The games control is decent, and enemies in front of you are easy enough to target. There are multiple levels per location on the map, multiple planes, weapons, options etc. There are sky and ground missions with objectives, and the speed is controllable and just right.

 

Controls: Easy three button control system, with the ability to put on afterburners and hit the air brake on the number-pad, whats not to like? Auto-save feature is helpful.

 

 

So are people just mad at this game for not saving the jaguar? Why all the hate?

 

 

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Back then I very much enjoyed BL. I loved the soundtrack and I did not mind the graphics aside from the choppy barrel roll and the dull cloud levels. Other than that I had my fun with it. I think it fights with not being perceived as a advanced game that showcases the jag cd and the fact that everyone loved BL on the lynx which did that for the lynx.

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Because I will never own a Jaguar CD I had to vote 'false' to questions 1&3.

 

Oh, and I misunderstood question 2 to read "I wold enjoy it as much other similar games on 3DO, Saturn" Ooopsie. o_O

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I loved and enjoyed the Lynx version, and I was looking forward to the Jaguar version. To me it was just no comparison, from the ace Lynx version to the awful Jaguar version. Maybe I should've played it longer and I would've gotten more into it, who knows.

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False.
False.
True.
I think it gets mocked along with Cybermorph as pack-ins that straight away clearly doesn't live up to the 64-bit claim.

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This is true on the 64 bit claim, but that is just about all the games on the Jaguar.

 

I think Zero5 is one of the few games that showcased what the Jaguar can do and I hate that game. So there you go. :D

 

Blue Lightning "prepare to rock!" Loved the sound track, the action, just a good 3D-ish shoot em up. Not a true flight sim in action and mechanics, but a good shoot 'em up.

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And i'll just throw this out there:

 

Lynx Blue Lightning: Overrated

 

Jaguar Blue Lightning: Underrated

 

Play them one after another and you'll see what i mean. Everyone always goes on about how GREAT it is for the Lynx..but in retrospect. It's a little dull. It's easy as hell, you can play forever, it's hard to tell you're even moving, there is no music. Everyone loves it but I feel like Jag Blue Lightning is actually the more fun game to play these days.

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Graphics-wise the game has the deep colors, deep blue sky, deep green forest as in pictures above, that I like, just hate the long wait in menus before you get to the action, a wait that often makes me hesitate putting the CD in. But graphics are kind of ugly, but cool.

Gameplay is a mess but probably, as you say, if you putt some time into it it might grow on you. (Don't have that time.)

(There's a Swedish plane in it, SAAB 37 Viggen, that is cool for me.)

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If Flashback was billed as a CD-ROM game on a cart, Blue Lightning should've been billed as a cart game on a CD-ROM. Other than the FMV sequences, which get annoying, there's no need for this thing to be on a CD. Why the hate? Choppy animation and frame rate. Zero sense of speed, After Burner gave a better sense of speed 8 years prior on lowly 16-bit hardware (2x68ks = 32-bit?). The clouds in the air stages look absolutely ridiculous and the overall sprite detail is lacking. Why is it clouds that are further away are grey and black? If you thought Cybermorph was the worst pack-in game ever, wait until you play Blue Lightning. Would I enjoy it as much if it were on another system? Yeah, if it was on the Saturn I'd think it's utter garbage on there too.

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Lynx Blue lightning is better, but Jaguar CD Blue Lightning is still a solid game. I enjoy the challenging gameplay, tight control, cut scenes, music & sfx and the graphics have that unique Jaguar look.

 

Jaguar Blue Lightning is leagues better than the other sequel to an excellent Lynx title, the craptastic Checkered Flag.

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The fact that the developers themselves were unsatisfied with the results should be telling. Madman is pretty spot on but it is by far not the worst game and I also don't feel that cybermorph was a bad pack in. On the other hand I was twelve years old back then, maybe I was easy to satisfy.:) What always seemed a bit off for me was how similar BL and battlemorph were in their menues and also using the same guy for the voice work. That seemed a bit lazy but I always figured that the games were coded in parallel. Interesting that one turned out rather loved while the other one didn't.

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'We completely underestimated how much work Blue Lightning was going to be, and I don’t think we fully understood the gameplay when we started recreating it for the Jaguar; I remember squeezing the graphics in was painful (weird shapes, lots of space wasted – a very novel fitting algorithm, which is now known as texture atlassing); we just couldn’t the performance we wanted with the barrel roll. And I am pretty sure the CD drive was a late addition to the project/contract, which compounded our development problems even more.

i.e. there was an issue with the seeks; if you requested a particular sector, the hardware was only guaranteed to deliver to within 6 sectors, and the controller software ran in one of the DSPs we used for audio, so everything had to be combined. We had to incorporate additional checksum and retry code as we found that the ‘within 6 sectors’ was unreliable too!'
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It probably did not help that the early screens sent to the likes of Edge etc looked like this:

And thus joined the likes of Redline Racer as looking much better than actual game turned out to be.
Freelancer on Jag CD should really join these pair, as everything so far points towards screens being taken from the PC CD version, which was running BRender software and was reported as being much further along than the Jaguar CD version...

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It probably did not help that the early screens sent to the likes of Edge etc looked like this:

And thus joined the likes of Redline Racer as looking much better than actual game turned out to be.

 

What was wrong with Redline Racer ? I played this awful lot on PC and for the time, the game looked really good and was super silky smooth without any framedrops (unlike NFS). Learning curve wasn't the easiest, granted, but from graphics perspective, it definitely delivered the wow factor at the time. The sense of speed there was way higher than Need For Speed (or any other racing game) at the time.

 

That was at the time when I was paying for 2-3 gaming magazines each month, so I believe I was quite well informed on all major games at that time. I certainly do not recall any issue about Redline Racer whatsoever.

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:-) Sorry for confusion, it was Redline Racing not Racer i meant.My bad...

That was how atari started previewing Jaguar C.F and it looked a lot better than what Rebellion actually served up:
I cannot comment on Redline Racer (PC) as never played it.
Back on topic, it's a shame RVG never sent the Blue Lightning CD preview screen to Fred Gill at time of interview, as although i did ask him about them, he had no memory of them and wanted to see them, he (possibly) could of confirmed if they were just mocked up for the press.

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It probably did not help that the early screens sent to the likes of Edge etc looked like this:

And thus joined the likes of Redline Racer as looking much better than actual game turned out to be.
Freelancer on Jag CD should really join these pair, as everything so far points towards screens being taken from the PC CD version, which was running BRender software and was reported as being much further along than the Jaguar CD version...

 

Why do you consider this screenshot to be much better than the released stuff. The plane does resemble the one from the Lynx version and did not make it in to the final game. Other than that I don't see what is better. I agree on checkered flag though. Some of the early enviroments indeed looked better.

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It's more a combination of the screen shot and the claims being made by the Press (who'd apparently seen this early version running and it featured some impressive texture-mapping) and what was coming from Atari UK's P.R department at the time....

The whole concept that the only thing holding the Jaguar back, was the fact it was cart.based and going up next to the 3DO, Saturn and PS! and just you wait until the Jag CD was released, then you'd see games that really showcased the power of the system.
So many of us expected the final game to improve again from those early screens, not be downgraded and be a flagship game that showcased the Jag CD player, after all the Lynx game showcased the Lynx hardware.
To find such a dissapointing game on CD after all that was said, really did create yet another rod for Atari's back and it was one of their own making...
Well, them and ATD....
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I'm one of the few people willing to admit they actually like BL.

It's not a very sophisticated game - just fly along mindlessly and blow up as much shit as you can - but sometimes that's all you want in a game.

I think it failed because it looks like a well-done 16-bit game, and folks were expecting a lot more from a 64-bit CD game.

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I have to go with Peter here and say that the final product Blue Lighting looks better than the crappy early 90's Photoshop pic of Blue Lightning that Atari gave to the press. The desert mesas pasted on top of a green pixelated 'jungle' mess, with a high-res Lynx F-18 pasted on top of it all looked pretty craptastic, even by early 90's standards. I remember Diehard Gamefan magazine ran the same crappy Blue Lightning pic and it was so small you had to squint to see it.

 

Atari did released some nice looking preview pics of Redline Racing/Checkered Flag and Club Drive that looked way better than the final product.

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If Flashback was billed as a CD-ROM game on a cart, Blue Lightning should've been billed as a cart game on a CD-ROM. Other than the FMV sequences, which get annoying, there's no need for this thing to be on a CD. Why the hate? Choppy animation and frame rate. Zero sense of speed, After Burner gave a better sense of speed 8 years prior on lowly 16-bit hardware (2x68ks = 32-bit?). The clouds in the air stages look absolutely ridiculous and the overall sprite detail is lacking. Why is it clouds that are further away are grey and black? If you thought Cybermorph was the worst pack-in game ever, wait until you play Blue Lightning. Would I enjoy it as much if it were on another system? Yeah, if it was on the Saturn I'd think it's utter garbage on there too.

 

Agree with everything said here.

 

Besides all the other issues mentioned, I absolutely can't imagine ANYONE looking at the visuals and saying they're in any way passable. Of course, this is the Jaguar, so even if it's an atrocious game, it's clearly worth defending regardless for some. At some point I suppose we'll get a thread defending the entire library of the Jaguar as having one of the best ratios of great games to released games. Or did we already have that one?

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Besides all the other issues mentioned, I absolutely can't imagine ANYONE looking at the visuals and saying they're in any way passable. Of course, this is the Jaguar, so even if it's an atrocious game, it's clearly worth defending regardless for some. At some point I suppose we'll get a thread defending the entire library of the Jaguar as having one of the best ratios of great games to released games. Or did we already have that one?

Well we've got a recent thread defending WMCJ, so really anything is possible at this point.

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